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Article
Published: 2022-09-16

Ericaceae in Rio Grande do Sul state, Southern Brazil

Programa de Pós-Graduação em Botânica, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500 Campus do Vale, Bairro Agronomia, Porto Alegre, RS 91501-970, Brazil
Embrapa Clima Temperado, Caixa Postal 403, Rodovia BR-392, Km 78, 9º Distrito, Monte Bonito, Pelotas, RS 96010-971, Brazil
Agarista Atlantic Rainforest Gaultheria Gaylussacia Pampas Grasslands Subtropical Highland Grasslands Eudicots

Abstract

This study presents a taxonomic review of the native species of Ericaceae in Rio Grande do Sul state, Southern Brazil, providing identification keys, synonymy, morphological descriptions, and specimen photograph plates, besides maps of geographic distributions and lists of studied specimens to assist in identification and conservation. We made literature reviews, collecting expeditions, and reviewed 14 Brazilian herbaria, plus an additional 17 online herbaria. We confirmed the occurrence of three genera, 10 species, and 11 taxa, including the new occurrence of Gaultheria ulei to the state. All species occur in the Brazilian subtropical highland grasslands of the Atlantic Rainforest. Five species were confirmed occurring in the temperate grasslands of the Pampas, where Agarista eucalyptoides and A. chlorantha were previously known and A. minensis, A. nummularia and Gaylussacia brasiliensis represent new records. Agarista eucalyptoides and Gaylussacia brasiliensis are the most widely distributed species in the state. Agarista nummularia and Gaylussacia brasiliensis are the only species registered in the coastal plains. Five species are threatened in the state flora: Agarista chlorantha (EN), A. minensis (VU), A. niederleinii (VU), Gaultheria itatiaiae (EN), and Gaylussacia pseudogaultheria (EN). Additionally, we highlight seed shape as a distinctive trait to separate species within Agarista.

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